Crossroad Vol. #06 (Mania.com)

By:Julie Rosato
Review Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Release Date: Monday, April 30, 2007



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Shioko Mizuki
Translated by:Kathy Schilling
Adapted by:Brynne Chandler

What They Say
With summer under full swing, it's hot outside... and inside too. Kajitsu must make the most important decision in her life so far about where she and Akai-sensei are headed. Meanwhile, Erica and Natsu's relationship takes an unexpected turn - that could mean an advancement in Natsu's and Kajitsu's own forbidden feelings.

The Review
Only one more to go! There's nothing I can say about this volume that wouldn't be a gigantic spoiler; I'll keep it brief, but read ahead at your own risk.

Without a doubt Erica and Akai-sensei have played important roles to Natsu and Kajitsu respectively, though their causes are ultimately to be lost. The still, heavy weight of summer has settled the hearts of the young Toda siblings and even extends over the mood of this volume. No matter what else is happening throughout these four chapters, from the moment Kajitsu leaves Akai's house to Natsu's confession, it's as if a breath is slowly being let out and replaced with a calm, resolute feeling. Of course, no matter how determined they are to be together there's still their family happiness to answer to. And his name is Taro. Natsu promises to take responsibility in a most gallant fashion, but someone apparently felt he was taking too long; enter Rumiko and her meddling. With the cat out of the bag, the last volume might prove to be pretty exciting.

So much of this volume utterly charmed; the scenes with Natsu and Kajitsu had a refreshing directness and simplicity that, until this point, had been impossible by the complications they made for themselves. The last chapter or so was disappointing though, picking at the ends so diligently tightened in the pages previous. The return to school after summer vacation turned messy and unnecessary, proving only that the manga-ka was too attached to certain characters to let them go properly. Though Rumiko's interference at the end felt clunky, it was perhaps the only way to force the closure that had begun slipping away.

This series has been a little uneven, at times unfocused, and is ending in fewer volumes than I'd have initially expected, but I�ve enjoyed watching the characters come around to where we all knew they'd end up. The good moments outweigh the missteps and even the distractions have been entertaining. With the strange mix of weighty personal issues and anything-goes character relations, I dare not even speculate how the final volume will play out. I await it with anticipation - but not without a little fear, as well.



Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Go! Comi
MSRP: 10.99
Pages: 200
ISBN: 1-933617-11-4
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left